Imax Hits the NYSE to Chase Global Investors

Giant screen exhibitor shifts stocking listing from NASDAQ to NYSE as it expands its global footprint.

TORONTO -- Inception director Christopher Nolan and Imax CEO Rich Gelfond were on hand at the New York Stock Exchange Friday to celebrate the giant screen exhibitor’s listing on the Big Board.

Nolan released super-sized versions of Inception and The Dark Knight in Imax theatres.  

For Gelfond, who helped ring the opening bell, shifting his company's listing from NASDAQ to NYSE is about chasing deep-pocketed investors in global markets Imax is busily expanding into.

“As our global network expands, and consumers get more familiar with Imax, it would be great if we could attract investors from those countries that are looking to Imax,” he said.

Growth for Imax in recent years has been more dramatic overseas, compared to an increasingly mature and crowded North American market.

The super-sized theatre exhibitor is in 50 markets worldwide, with China the second-biggest market after the U.S., and Russia the third-largest.

“Especially in Asian countries, the NYSE gives you some prestige,” Gelfond added.

Imax is also following its industry peers like Disney, Time Warner and Regal Entertainment onto the NYSE.

At the same time, Gelfond insists wooing international investors via the NYSE doesn’t signal he foresees a future buyer of Imax coming from overseas.

“I’m not trying to sell the company. Imax has grown nicely over the last few years. And it’s just not on my agenda,” he said.